What does orchid smell like?

May, 2022
Darren Spalding

These orchids from the genus Catasetum move away from the sweeter smell of chocolate, vanilla and approach the spicier aromas. Oncidium ornithorrhychium with a tongue twister with a name is an easy-to-grow dwarf orchid with a sweet, complex scent that has been described differently as vanilla, baby powder, grape-like, spicy, cinnamon or cocoa. The Encyclia Alata has a more tropical scent with a mix of coconut and vanilla. It is considered an orchid for beginners, and the fragrance is one of the most engraved in my memory as a child.

Some people have described it as a chocolaty smell, but I personally can't smell that.

Which orchid has a scent?

Since not all insects react to the same scent, orchids have developed different strategies to attract insects and other pollinators. With over 30,000 known species and an estimated 200,000 hybrids, orchids occupy a prominent position as one of the flowering plants with a widespread population. Many scented orchids only release their scent at certain hours of the day and night to attract specific pollinators. Before you get into the specifics of this orchid, it's important to know that it was awarded a First Class Certificate (FCC) by the American Orchid Society (AOS) at its first exhibition.

This will give you a good idea of which fragrant orchids you want to add to your collection and which pairs go well together.

What does orchid extract smell like?

You can do this right in your kitchen using basic household items (such as cooking pots, distilled water, cheesecloth, and orchid leaves). The secret behind this fragrance is the idea of an orchid — an illusionary fragrance that reminds us of the beautiful orchid flower. The cultivation of these fragrant orchids and their sublime elevation in art are symptomatic of the Chinese idea that scent is the heart of a flower. I love Tom Ford's Black Orchid and Velvet Orchid and I'll be very happy to learn more orchid scents and win the sampler.

Based on Linet Hamman's talk at the LOG seminar in November 1999, published by the South African Orchid Society.


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